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Lebanon, Libya to discuss boosting ties at IDAL forum

Nahas and other officials see huge investment and job opportunities in Libya.

BEIRUT: Lebanon and Libya will discuss the promotion of economic ties and investments during a forum to be held in Tripoli, Libya, Nov. 18, Economy Minister Nicolas Nahas said in a news conference Monday.

“Lebanon and Libya are destined for economic integration. Libya’s geographic location can facilitate the tapping of African markets, where Lebanese merchants play a very active role,” Nahas said.

“The Libyan market itself is expected to witness unprecedented growth after the Feb. 17 revolution and the success of elections and efforts for stability and security. This promises bright opportunities for Lebanese companies and [qualified individuals] in all sectors,” he added.

The Forum will be co-organized by the Investment Development Authority of Lebanon (IDAL), the Privatization and Investment Board of Libya, and Lebanon-based business events group Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal.

CEO of Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal Raouf Abou Zaki said the Libyan market is booming with investment and job opportunities.

He added that Lebanese companies could benefit Libya with vast experience in the industry, banking, technology and construction sectors.

He said Lebanon could serve as a hub for tourism, health care, training and education.

“This would be a first step in a journey of a thousand miles to re-establish relations between the two countries after decades of their demise,” Nahas said.

Hassan bin Taher, head of the Privatization and Investment Board of Libya, praised IDAL’s vast experience in nurturing investments.

Bin Taher said the forum would be crucial to exchange knowledge on the available investment opportunities in the two countries.

For his part, the head of IDAL, Nabil Itani, said the forum would help put in place an economic strategy based on the mutual interests of the two countries.

He added that the authority would provide incentives to Libyans wishing to invest in Lebanon.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on September 11, 2012, on page 5.

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